The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) has announced a review of the Councilors’ Allocation funds guidelines and its reporting requirements.
The Department of Local Authorities formalised an increase in Councillors allocations to Vt1million, along with published guidelines on how to access the funds, and formal reporting requirements on the usage of the funds earlier this year.
Three changes have been made to the guideline based on the review.
Firstly, Councillors can now access Vt500,000 every six months as compared to the previous Vt250,000 for each quarter.
Secondly, Area Council or Ward Chairpersons are not required to sign forms. It has been an issue that elected councilors are experiencing difficulties when accessing the Constituency Allocations. In some cases, Chairpersons are politicians who often make it difficult for elected councilors to access their funds.
Finally, the review has called for Special consideration for PENAMA and Ambrym Councilors who will be entitled to instantly access their VT1, 000,000 and not have to wait for six months.
This is in response to impacts of disasters in their constituencies. However, they are still required to complete the forms and report on the funds as required.
In his official address to the media, MOIA Minister Andrew Napuat expressed his appreciation over the development of such a community oriented initiative.
He said, “The guidelines are developed to guide the best use of the funds by elected councilors and to report transparently on the use of the funds. It is aimed at making small projects implemented and public at large see some development in provinces and municipalities.”
Minister Napuat also encouraged elected Councillors, to meet the needs of communities in other Area Councils and Wards where development needs are identified.
He further thanked Councillors, who have started implementing the guidelines.
“Those who have been doing the right thing and implementing the guidelines, I thank you for being the good citizens of this country, my prayers that God will continue to provide you with wisdom and bless you always for the good qualities you displayed,” Minister Napuat concluded.